The 2015 Antarctica Weddell seal pupping season is getting underway; and the Antarctica field team researchers are arriving on the ice! The first group of field team members have very recently arrived, and will be followed soon by the second group of research field team members.
The entire field team this year will consist of Lead Principal Investigator Dr. Jay Rotella, Co-Principal Investigator Dr. Bob Garrott, Montana State University PhD student and field crew leader Terrill Paterson, MSU Master's student Kaitlin McDonald, MSU grad Eric Boyd, Ecology Masters degree recipient Ross Hinderer, MSU grad Erika Nunlist, and MSU grad Mike Forzley. Digital production specialist Mary Lynn Price will be facilitating the project's public outreach efforts with the involvement and help of the entire team.
Over the next two months we’ll be posting about the field season, the work of the field team members and, of course, the beautiful Weddell seal moms and pups that are the subjects of this Montana State University based Weddell population ecology research project.
Our posts over the Austral Spring pupping season will include images, audio recordings, and short videos produced about the field work, the project, and the Weddell seals.
This Weddell population study began in 1968 continuing the work that began with Dr. Ian Sterling. The work was continued by Dr. Don Siniff and others of the University of Minnesota. In 2002 the study was moved to Montana State University, and was continued by Drs. Jay Rotella, Bob Garrott, and Don Siniff. More on the history of this project can be found in our website history section.
The Antarctica Weddell seal study area of this National Science Foundation funded, U.S Antarctic Program supported science project consists of the Erebus Bay area of McMurdo Sound in Antarctica’s Ross Sea. The Ross Sea is the most pristine marine environment remaining on Earth. And the Weddell seal is the southernmost breeding mammal population on our planet.
You can learn more about the seals, the project, and its history on our web portal WeddellSealScience.com, which first launched in 2011.
We hope you enjoy our Weddell Seal Science Antarctica Field Blog!